Technology Within the Hotel Industry

Abstract

This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using technologies within the hotel industry. It was aimed to depict the technologies that have helped improve customer experiences regarding the hospital industry. First, the technologies from which hotels can benefit in their everyday operations were discussed. Second, it was explored why technology was essential for the growth of sales and the improvement of guests’ experiences.

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Third, the paper addressed the impact of technologies on businesses and employees as well as the disadvantages regarding the integration of technologies at hotels. Technology showed to keep hotels organized and manageable. Decades ago, to run a hotel, owners would have to have a lot of staff on hand to complete one job. Today, the process is less tedious and brings more revenue increase through the use of technologies.

Problem Statement

In a highly competitive business environment, companies are challenged by developing solutions that could improve operations and competitive advantage through increasing customer satisfaction. Businesses operating within the hospitality industry are also expected to implement various advancements to attract new clients and retain old ones. Understanding how technologies can be integrated into the everyday processes at hotels is necessary for showing businesses how they benefit from innovative solutions. Finding a balance between the use of advanced technologies and human interactions is the key problem that should be addressed. While technologies are essential and can facilitate the effectiveness of hotels’ operations, workers operating within the hospitality industry should not forget about the aspect of human interactions, which is among the most vital attributes of the services provided to customers.

Introduction

Technology has changed the way of life over the last twenty years, especially in the hospitality industry. It has made workers’ jobs more comfortable while also helping to increase revenue. Both customers and businesses can benefit from improved communication, online reservations, and guest service systems. Since 1947, technology use within the hotel industry has evolved dramatically and has made the experiences of guests more pleasurable.

Many great things come with technology, with marketing being one of the most critical advantages brought by its integration. Businesses can now promote their amenities through social media and different apps. This is especially relevant in this day and age where millennials are known as “tech-savvy.” Therefore, not only do technologies affect businesses but also customers who are a big part of shaping the way various solutions are used at hotels. Moreover, technologies allow more money to be generated in hotel sales.

How Technology Has Positively Changed the Hotel Industry

Before the advent of technologies, travelers would use guidebooks. They were sold everywhere, even today, for popular destinations. If one is to look at guides for various countries, each region has a comprehensive listing of hotels in the area, along with the phone numbers of businesses. This process was highly complicated for both companies and potential guests. However, significant advancements were made. For example, in the 1920s, the first radios were installed in each guestroom. Today, hotels have touch screen tablets to facilitate communication between guests and hotel staff (Jasonos, & McCormick, 2017). The industry has come a long way in technological advances, not only from the customer perspective but also in terms of the benefit for businesses.

Some of the latest technologies available at hotels include smart mirrors, phones, tablets, virtual reality, robots, HDTVs, high-speed internet access, and even sometimes extra laptops and intelligent tablets for guests to use at their leisure. RFID’s is a mobile key that allows guests to open room doors without an actual card. These different technologies enable customers to enjoy their stay to the fullest extent and also make life easier for both concierges and guests. Today, one can book a hotel room with a touch of the finger.

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The Millennial generation, according to demographers at Pew Research Center, are those born between roughly 1981 and 1997, and they account for 27% of the global population or about 2 billion people making them the largest living generation by population size (Fry, 2018). According to The Digital Experience, “when it comes to traveling and hotel stays, millennials are keen to use technology to make their lives easier and their travel experience more seamless. Millennial guests are both self-sufficient and tech-savvy and unsurprisingly have high expectations in discovery, payments, and mobile experience prior to and during their stay. They are demanding more and better technology in order for their hotel stay to be a good one” (“How millennials are influencing change,” 2018).

As technology gets better for the guests, it also gets better for the employees. Some different technologies used for the business such as the POS often help to keep track of the guests and booking, credit cards, social media is a big business boomer, technology aids in assisting the hotel for marketing purposes collecting data and using it to promote the hotel to the appropriate audience, hotel technology can be implemented to aid organizations and keep the property running smoothly. Tracking sales and bookkeeping is much more comfortable with the guidance of technology (Khatri, 2019). Back in the day, they would have to write down and record customers and guests you can imagine how difficult and tiresome that could have been for the employees and could only market through magazines and commercial Ads since there was no form of social media or computers yet.

“Money is generating in the economy according to Office of the State Deputy Comptroller for the City of New York “the number of jobs in the hotel industry in New York City increased by 29 percent from 2006 to 2015, nearly double the citywide rate of job growth” (DiNapoli & Bleiwas, 2016) Increase of jobs in the city as well. Using technology made communication more comfortable with guests to employees. It made everything from booking to checking out very simple. As well as room service and door keys don’t have to be made as often since you can use smartphones for pretty much everything now.

Negative Impacts of Technology in the Hotel Industry

Human interaction is a significant component of the hospitality field, and without it, services lose value. Places of hospitality are built on the human connection, and with technology in place, hotels are slowly losing that genuine touch (Kansakar, Munir, & Shabani, 2019). For the Baby Boomer and Gen X generations, the robot approach is more of it is a millennial thing. It is also much harder for older generations to adapt to all the new use of technology. Older people who try to book hotels have difficulty with tablets and technology because they are not tech-savvy people.

Another disadvantage with technology is that if there is a blackout or the system malfunctions, then what will we do. We can’t just shut down in the case of an emergency well probably have backup generators, but it could undoubtedly disrupt the customers’ experience within the hotel. Technology is continually changing every day, and with today’s systems, you never know if someone could hack it or even cause it to malfunction. Also, credit cards are a huge problem as well. With security measures getting tighter hotels are starting to use only credit cards for check-in, in this case, it should still also be money included upon booking. Not everyone has credit cards, and there are other ways to hold people accountable, aside from credit cards.

Advantages of Using Technologies

As technologies have changed the hospitality industry, it is essential to discuss the benefits that they offer organizations. First, it is essential to mention that new tools and services can enhance the level of convenience. Clients want everything to be convenient and within their arms’ reach (Kumar & Chandrasekar, 2013). Such technological solutions as mobile “concierge in your pocket” tools provide guests with all the necessary information they need for a pleasant stay at the hotel. This information can range from the locations of the nearest entertainment venues to weather forecast data.

Second, technologies have been shown to improve communication between staff as well as between staff and their clients. Multiple hotels can use sophisticated communication platforms to facilitate connectivity within hotels as well as to respond to the needs of their guests more quickly and efficiently. By providing a method for all staff to be on the same page in terms of tracking guests’ requests, managers are more likely to run their hotels more smoothly and efficiently. Besides, communication tools have advanced in such a way to help guests access reservation details, restaurant, and bar opening times, as well as connect to room service quicker than before.

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Third, technologies have made the services within the hospitality industry more effortless. For example, some hotels have managed to develop systems that could save information on guest preferences within a database. This allowed the staff working at hotels to be aware of the services that the guests are likely to order. Such a method of personalization offers guests a much more pleasurable experience than before because customers appreciate when their desires and expectations are accounted for (Dzia-Uddin, Hashim, & Isa, 2018). At luxurious hotels, robotics technology is used. For example, the boutique hotel Aloft Cupertino integrated a robot butler that moves between different floors to deliver items to guests (“5 reasons to use technology,” 2018). Such technology is both memorable and convenient.

Finally, the use of technologies in the context of the hospitality industry gives businesses a competitive advantage. From advanced robot butler technologies to personalized room service solutions, hotels can use technologies to stand out from the competition by being unique and attentive to the needs of clients. The satisfaction of customers with the range and quality of service provided to them is expected to boost the reputation of a hotel in the eyes of potential customers.

Conclusion

In summary, it should be mentioned that technologies make the operations of organizations in the hospitality industry more productive and competitive. The latest technology advancement contributes significantly to improving customer experiences by making the processes more relaxed, more seamless, and overall faster. However, what hotels should not forget about is the fact that not all customers can get value from technology solutions, especially when clients are not from younger generations and thus do not understand how to use technologies effectively.

The staff at hotels should also understand the value of human interactions and use technologies not in the role of supplements of service but rather in the role of enhancing tools. When guests book hotels, they expect their needs and demands to be met, and human interactions are essential aspects of their needs. Overall, it is important to study the impact of technologies on the hospitality industry further and develop best practices that could facilitate the integration of advanced tools to reach a competitive advantage.

Research Methodology

To collect information on the use of technologies in the hospitality industry, it was recommended to implement a literature review. A literature review refers to the narrative review of studies on a chosen topic in terms of including the substantive finding of studies included in the review. This method was chosen for the current study because of its convenience as well as the trustworthiness of literature reviews (Snyder, 2019). A literature review can be effectively used for understanding a chosen topic in-depth as well as helping a scholar make conclusions regarding the use of technologies in the hospitality industry.

References

DiNapoli, T., & Bleiwas, K. (2016). The hotel industry in New York City. Web.

Dzia-Uddin, D., Hashim, S., & Isa, Z. (2018). Self-service technologies influencing guest satisfaction in hotel industry. Journal of Hospitality and Networks, 1, 25-31.

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5 reasons to use technology in hotel management. (2018). Web.

Fry, R. (2018). Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation. Web.

How millennials are influencing change in the hospitality industry. (2018). Web.

Jasonos, M., & McCormick, R. (2017). Technology integration for restaurants & hospitality industry in the year 2025. Web.

Kansakar, P., Munir, A., & Shabani, N. (2019). Technology in hospitality industry: Prospects and challenges. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 8(3), 60-65.

Khatri, I. (2019). Information technology in tourism & hospitality industry: A review of ten years’ publications. Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Education, 9, 74-87.

Kumar, S., & Chandrasekar, K. (2013). Hospitality industry technology: Trends and its implications. SAJMMR, 3(11), 70-77.

Snyder, H. (2019). Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of Business Research, 104, 333-339.

Annotated Bibliography

Khatri, I. (2019). Information technology in tourism & hospitality industry: A review of ten years’ publications. Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Education, 9, 74-87.

The study by Khatri provides an extensive contribution to the body of research on the use of technologies in the hospitality industry. The author mentioned that the way in which the hospitality industry is changing requires the support of information technologies that facilitate the effective operation of organizations. Through conducting the contact analysis of abundant literature on the topic, the researcher was able to reach meaningful conclusions. Technologies have shown to play an integral role in helping businesses becoming more competitive. This is possible with the help of the enhanced fulfillment of information needs, the ability to study performance and behaviors, the capacity to manage both innovation and operation processes.

Kansakar, P., Munir, A., & Shabani, N. (2019). Technology in hospitality industry: Prospects and challenges. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 8(3), 60-65.

In their study, the scholars discussed the widespread adoption of technologies in the hospitality industry that has transformed the manner in which the services are provided and received. The researchers explored the integration of the most recent technologies in terms of improving the experiences of guests and changing the future of the hospitality service platform. For example, it was revealed that the Internet of Things (IoT) technology became a critical framework for facilitating the changing landscape of the industry. The IoT tools have shown to improve the capabilities of hotels in terms of energy management, building automation and monitoring, augmented reality services, as well as body area sensors for improved security.

Jasonos, M., & McCormick, R. (2017). Technology integration for restaurants & hospitality industry in the year 2025. Web.

The research provides an all-encompassing look at the use of technologies within the hospitality industry within the next five years. The current business environment has shaped in such a way that it requires organizations to respond to the needs of their clients in the most efficient manner possible. The use of technologies guarantees the establishment of stronger brand images of hotels that can develop a loyal customer base. The future of the hospitality industry is associated with the further integration of technologies within everyday operations. The key finding of the study is related to the fact that companies operating in the hospitality industry should invest in training as well as stay up-to-date with the technologies that become available in the market.

Kumar, S., & Chandrasekar, K. (2013). Hospitality industry technology: Trends and its implications. SAJMMR, 3(11), 70-77.

In the research article, the scholars explored the topic of hospitality industry technology in terms of the trends and implications of their use. The incorporation of the most recent tools and solutions is found to enhance the experiences of clients who never want to compromise on the quality of services provided to them. Technologies that are available to companies make it possible for companies to respond to the needs of clients, and capitalizing on enhanced capabilities is something that could bring significant benefit to companies. Customers have shown to enjoy the latest trends and solutions that enhance their experiences in the hospitality industry because they understand what they are paying for.

Dzia-Uddin, D., Hashim, S., & Isa, Z. (2018). Self-service technologies influencing guest satisfaction in hotel industry. Journal of Hospitality and Networks, 1, 25-31.

The study is interesting for exploring the impact of self-service technologies on customer satisfaction in the hotel industry. The researchers found that self-service tools available at hotels or restaurants provided a high degree of usefulness in terms of enhancing customer experiences. The wider variety of such technologies is available to customers, the higher is the likelihood of them showing more significant levels of satisfaction with hospitality services. The scholars recommended for hotels to look at the range of tools they can use and integrate them into everyday operations in order to fulfill the desires and expectations of their clients.

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